Jin Jeong notched his maiden European Tour victory on Sunday in the 2013 Perth International, beating Ross Fisher by parring the first hole of a playoff at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
Fisher has won four previous times on tour, but not since 2010—the same year Jeong won the British Amateur. The Englishman carded a four-under 68, which was one better than the man who eventually beat him in an extra hole.
|Perth International Day 4 Leaderboard|
|1||Jin Jeong (KOR)*||68-72-69-69||-10|
|2||Ross Fisher (ENG)||72-67-71-68||-10|
|T3||Danny Willett (ENG)||72-71-68-69||-8|
|T3||Brody Ninyette (AUS)||72-69-67-72||-8|
|T3||Dimitrios Papadatos (AUS)||69-71-72-68||-8|
|6||Brett Rumford (AUS)||71-73-65-72||-7|
|T7||JB Hansen (DEN)||70-73-66-73||-6|
|T7||Joel Sjoholm (SWE)||71-73-67-73||-6|
|T7||Richard Finch (ENG)||72-69-69-72||-6|
|T10||Fredrik Andersson-Hed (SWE)||69-73-68-73||-5|
|T10||Peter Hedblom (SWE)||68-69-75-71||-5|
|*Won with par on 1st playoff hole. Source: EuropeanTour.com|
It was an ominous start to the final round for Jeong after he double bogeyed the par-four first with a four-putt. From that point on, though, his flat iron was steadier, and his ball-striking remained pinpoint as he missed only three total greens in regulation.
A decorated amateur career hadn't quite translated to substantial success as a pro for the 23-year-old Jeong, but he made up for that in a big way and will see a huge leap from No. 1066 in the world rankings.
Clutch par putts at Nos. 16 and 17 fell for Jeong, while Fisher's stiff tee shot to the par-three 17th set up an easy birdie that got him to match at 10 under par.
Jeong found the fairway with his tee shot at the 18th in the playoff and hit it to 35 feet right of the flag, while Fisher had a bit of a flier from the rough that caused his approach to run through the putting surface.
After a failed scrambling attempt by Fisher, all Jeong had to do was knock in his second putt for the victory, and he managed to do that in holing a short one to cap it off.
Sealing the deal was far from easy for the young emerging talent, who remarked about his previous professional struggles after what he implied was a surreal triumph of sorts, per ESPN.co.uk:
I was nervous, I was shaking but I controlled myself pretty well all day I thought. I don't know what I've done to be honest.
I was struggling quite a bit when I was turning pro, but it was going to happen in the learning circuit I guess.
I had played play-offs in mini-tour events, but playing with Ross Fisher, one of my heroes, in the play-off was unbelievable.
I was going to go back to Q-School the week after next, but I guess I don't have to anymore.
That report also points out that Jeong now receives a two-year exemption on the European Tour. He may not be a native, but Jeong is based on Australia, having moved there to improve his golf game, per Steve Elling:
It paid off in a big way Sunday.
Australian native Brody Ninyette held a one-stroke advantage over Jeong after three rounds, but he faded by bogeying three of his last six holes to shoot level par in Round 4 and wind up in a three-way tie for third.
Perhaps the biggest name in the field was Dustin Johnson, who fell well off the pace after playing poor golf on Friday and Saturday.
However, the American power player ascended 39 spots on the leaderboard in the last round, posting the score of the day in shooting a 66, good enough for joint 12th place.
Johnson's compatriot and defending champion Bo Van Pelt, who won last year's inaugural event, was tied for 18th after a one-over 73.
Note: Statistics and information are courtesy of EuropeanTour.com.
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